7 July 2021

Focus on diversity and the state of LGBT Human Rights

At Kneip we are deliberate about the way we encourage diversity, and we are very excited to be sponsoring this year’s edition of the Luxembourg Pride (10 July 2021).

Over recent decades, LGBT+ rights have made enormous progress globally and locally. Social change has contributed to greater respect for individual autonomy and more equitable relations between genders. Yet lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of all ages and in all regions of the world still suffer from violations of their human rights, ranging from social discrimination to physical violence. According to the United Nations, in more than a third of the world’s countries, people are arrested and jailed (and in at least five countries executed) for engaging in private, consensual, same-sex relationships. States often fail to adequately protect LGBT+ people from discriminatory treatment in the private sphere, including in the workplace, housing and healthcare. LGBT+ children and adolescents face bullying at school and may be thrown out of their homes by their parents, forced into psychiatric institutions or forced to marry.

The UN Free & Equal website is a great source of resources to learn more about the human rights challenges facing LGBT+ people everywhere, and the actions that can be taken to tackle violence and discrimination. Visit www.unfe.org

Regional differences

In many regions of the world, discrimination and violence against people in the LGBT+ community remains common. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes remain deeply embedded, and LGBT+ people often suffer from social stigma and daily discrimination in almost every aspect of their lives because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

According to the United Nations, discriminatory laws criminalize private, consensual same-sex relationships in at least 76 countries, exposing millions of individuals to the risk of arrest, prosecution and imprisonment – and even, in at least five countries, the death penalty.

Yet over the past decade; significant progress has been made, and this positive trend should also be acknowledged. For example the LGBT resolution which was adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2014 to combat violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, represents a landmark achievement. It was co-sponsored by governments from Latin America and backed by others from all over the world, including South Africa, Cuba, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Latest trends

Over the past twelve months, trends in LGBT rights cannot be considered without acknowledging the impact of the global pandemic. In most countries, vulnerable populations became more exposed, and the LGBT population (which faces social stigmas in many regions) was no exception. In addition, there has been many evidences of anti-LGBT bias in responses to Covid-19 in all regions of the world.

On a positive note, 2020 saw a growing international momentum for an end to conversion therapy, the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Various countries have either enacted some form of ban or taken steps towards it, whilst the EU has called on states to ban the practice. We encourage you to read the full report from Human Rights Watch: Global Trends in LGBT Rights During the Covid-19 Pandemic, here: https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/02/24/global-trends-lgbt-rights-during-covid-19-pandemic

Focus on Luxembourg

In Luxembourg the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are quite extensive, as in many Western European countries. The decriminalisation of homosexuality was pronounced in 1794. Same-sex civil union was legalised in 2004 and the law allowing same-sex marriage was passed on 18 June 2014, making it the eleventh European country to legalize it. There have been over 2,000 PACS since and also over 2,000 ‘Marriage for Everybody’.

The voluntary association Rosa Lëtzebuerg was founded in 1996 to defend the rights of LGBT people living in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Every year it organises the Luxembourg Pride, to raise awareness about homosexuality among the general public.  In over two decades it has grown into one of the key events for members of the LGBT+ community, as well as one of the key dates for socio-cultural events in Luxembourg.

Visit https://luxembourgpride.lu/ for all the information about the event.

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